Greetings, Shredderz! If you’ve been reading the blog or following on Instagram you may know that I have a thing for unusual surfboard labels and rare laminates. Today we’ve got an example of a very cool Sam Hawk single fin with a logo I have never seen before. Shout out to Pete, who owns the board you see here. Pete was kind enough to send over the pics found below.
You can click the photos above to enlarge. As you can see, the Sam Hawk surfboard is a lovely single fin with a swallow tail and some wings towards the back. It measures in at 6’5″.
Sam Hawk was famously one of Dick Brewer‘s proteges in the Seventies, along with Owl Chapman. It’s not uncommon to see Sam Hawk surfboards that were shaped under Dick Brewer’s label, complete with the iconic plumeria wreath logo. See an example of a clean Dick Brewer / Sam Hawk surfboard below.
I have also seen a fair number of Dick Brewer / Sam Hawk surfboards with slightly different laminates. See an example below, which was a photo I snapped at a Vintage Surfboard Collectors Club event.
I believe the Sam Hawk single fin featured in this post is a vintage board, but I’m not 100% sure. The owner tells me that the board has been restored. I have not seen photos of the Sam Hawk surfboard in its original condition. The stringer seems to indicate the board was shaped in 1975, but I can’t get over how new it looks. This could be attributed to the aforementioned restoration. I’m also unfamiliar with the “RL” laminate that appears on the deck towards the tail, and I wonder if this was added during the restoration. It’s hard for me to say anything conclusive about when the board was shaped. That said, it’s a beautiful surfboard shaped by a well-regarded shaper, and any time I come across a logo I haven’t seen before, that’s enough reason to get excited.
Thanks again to Pete for sharing photos of this beautiful Sam Hawk stick and I hope you all enjoyed this post!
Photo at the top of the page was taken by Lance Trout and it originally appeared on Trout’s website
Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have a board that I wrote about earlier on Instagram, but I figured was worth a closer look. There are few shapers who can claim to have influenced modern surfboard design as much as Dick Brewer. During the Seventies, Dick Brewer had a number of proteges and collaborators, including Owl Chapman and Sam Hawk. (This post has a cool example of a Brewer / Hawk / Chapman board that was shaped under the Australian Hot Buttered label.) Sam Hawk initially shaped surfboards under the Dick Brewer label, but eventually began to branch out on his own. Somewhere between Dick Brewer and Hawk’s eponymous label, Sam Hawk crafted boards under the Brewer Hawk Surfboards name. During this stint he adopted Brewer’s famous plumeria flower wreath logo. It’s interesting to contrast Brewer Hawk Surfboards with Brewer Chapman Surfboards (the latter representing, of course, Owl Chapman’s foray into shaping for himself), which are practically mirror images of one another.
Anyway, this is all a very roundabout way of saying you don’t see too many Brewer Hawk Surfboards around. Owl continues to shape under the Brewer Chapman Surfboards brand, however. The board you see below is a Sam Hawk Seventies single fin that recently popped up for sale on Craigslist in the San Francisco Bay Area.
I’m not sure when the board was shaped, but I’m guessing somewhere in the 1973 to 1976 range. I could be completely off, however. The Brewer Hawk Surfboards example here is a classic Seventies single fin in a lot of ways, from the glassed on fin to the wings in the tail. The Sam Hawk surfboard is approximately 7’3″ x 19 1/2″. All the photos of the board are via Craigslist; the listing has since been taken down.
The Brewer Hawk Surfboards sled pictured above is simply gorgeous. I love all the different colors going on, from the simple red deck to the contrasting cream bottom, and the multiple colors on the fin. If you look closely you’ll notice some nice detailed pin line work as well: there is a double pin line on the deck (contrasting white and blue), and then a red pin line on the bottom. While there’s a bit of an ugly ding on the back, a more knowledgeable friend speculated that the color matching for the repair wouldn’t be so tough, given the neutral color on the bottom.
Either way it’s a beautiful board, and part of me is very much wishing I had tried to snag the Brewer Hawk Surfboards stick. Now all I can say is I hope it has gone to a happy home. Finally, for a bonus, see below for a different Sam Hawk single fin.
Greetings, Shredderz! Today we have another installment of the not-quite famous Grab Bag, where we highlight a selection of boards currently for sale on the internet. Act quick because some of these deals go fast.
Remarkably, this bad boy is only $350. I’m shocked that it has lasted this long. The fin box could be dicey and there’s also what looks to be an old repair on the tail, but I think this thing is so sweet. I’m wondering if it’s shaped by Phil Becker, but it’s impossible to tell from the pics. I believe this is being sold by Eric at ChubbySurf.com.
This is the same board featured at the top of the page. This bad boy is clean and mean! I can’t get enough of the pin lines. Am I crazy or is this priced to move at $399? Maybe I’m missing something but it seems like a reasonable deal for a beautiful board in great condition.
Is this considered cheating, considering I featured this board on my Instagram the other day? Either way, I can’t help but admire this bad boy. I’ve quietly been geeking out on Ekstrom’s boards for a bit now. He seems like he was way ahead of his time on certain designs, such as the asymmetrical tails that are now being popularized by the likes of fellow San Diego foam mower Ryan Burch. Richard Kenvin of Hydrodynamica fame has also expressed admiration for Ekstrom’s designs. The board is listed at $1,400, which isn’t cheap, but it’s not easy to find fifty year old boards in great shape.
According to the seller this was a Sam Hawk shape. I can’t recall whether or not Chris Hawk also shaped boards under this label. I think it’s overpriced at $400 considering the condition, but I still dig the board. It also comes with an absolutely killer fin that probably makes up a good $100 – $150 of the overall cost.
Greetings, Shredderz! Hope your respective weekends are all going exactly as planned. See below for your irregularly scheduled dose of social media from the wonderful world of vintage surfboards, including a cool seventies Schroff single fin.
Now THIS is cool! This is a trippy Wave Tools Sting shape combined with some truly out there Jet elements meant to route the water flow. To top it all off, the gradient paint job on the board is beautiful, too. Make sure you scroll through all the pictures in the gallery above — this is a must-see. Congrats to @thevintagesurfboard for scoring such a rare and interesting gem.
Hope you’re not sick of me mentioning Bird and his eponymous Surf Shed yet, because I’m not stopping any time soon! Anyway, Bird has a few more recent Dick Brewer boards for sale. They’re not cheap, but quality never is. These boards aren’t technically vintage, considering they were built in 2001-2002, but they are beautiful nonetheless. I love the Surfboards Hawaii logos towards the tail, too. The Brewer boards are also a nice modern complement to this week’s earlier post about Terry Fitzgerald and Dick Brewer. Note that all three boards above were all glassed by Jack Reeves, too.
I’m not sure who Hemisphere Cargo is, but if he doesn’t work for Schroff, at the very least he has a fine appreciation for Pimp’s shapes! Everyone goes crazy over the Echo Beach Schroff thrusters with the checkerboard logos, and rightfully so, but I’m really digging this Schroff single fin. Relatively speaking, it looks a little restrained when compared to Schroff’s more out there looks, and I’m into it!
If you’re not familiar with Rich Harbour and his legacy, I have one small request for you: close this window immediately, read upon the man, and then beg the surf gods for forgiveness over the fact you were reading Shred Sledz instead of learning some history.
Actually, you can do one better, as the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center, located in San Clemente, CA, is currently exhibiting a retrospective on Harbour’s career. The exhibit opened yesterday and it will be going on for three months. Harbour is a legendary California shaper, and it’s rad to see him get some shine courtesy of the awesome SHACC.
Luis Real has a truly staggering collection of vintage surfboards, and he frequently posts about them on Instagram. Pictured here is a rare bit of Dick Brewer trivia — one of the few boards Brewer shaped under the Greek label.
How to describe the North Shore of Oahu, the famed strip of surf breaks that, at the start of every winter, becomes the beating heart of the entire surf world? Volcom dubbed the most famous piece of real estate in surfing “The Proving Grounds”, and while surfwear marketing is rarely inspired, this is a fitting name. Surfers have long made pilgrimages to the North Shore, and Aussie Terry Fitzgerald, AKA The Sultan of Speed, is no exception.
Fitzgerald’s first exposure to Hawaiian influence came during the world contest in 1970, held at Bells Beach. The Australians — Fitzgerald included — were riding equipment that was inferior to those of their Hawaiian counterparts. According to Fitzgerald, at the time of the contest he wasn’t particularly well-liked by his Australian peers. As a result, Fitzgerald ended up rooming in a hotel with Hawaiian surfers Ben Aipa and Paul Strauch. The experience left a lasting impression. “I got a whole new perspective out of that contest, and I connected with the network that was to become the foundation of my surfing life. …I was put in with Aipa and Strauch, and my mind was opened to the whole Hawaiian deal.”
The quote above can be found in “Accelerator”, an excellent Fitzgerald profile written by Phil Jarratt and published in The Surfer’s Journal. I cannot recommend the article enough; you can find a link to it here (article is free for TSJ subscribers, or $3.99 to download.)
Fitzgerald made his first trip to Hawaii in the spring of 1971. In Hawaii Fitzgerald met none other than Dick Brewer, one of the statesmen of Hawaiian surfing. “Accelerator” has a number of excellent details on how the two shapers’ partnership began to emerge. Brewer witnessed Fitzgerald surfing Rocky Rights and dubbed the young Australian the best surfer in the world. In the summer of that same year, Fitzgerald followed Brewer back to Kauai, where the two began to exchange ideas on surfboard design. Fitzgerald credits Brewer’s influence, but disputes the notion that he left Hawaii intent on aping Brewer.
“The boards I took to Hawaii in 1971 were very much Terry Fitzgerald creations. They were the boards that created my reputation, and they were made before I met Brewer. Basically, I’d taken the twin fin that Greg Hodges and I made, put a single fin on it and refined it along the lines of the boards that Russell Hughes and Dana Nicely were doing at Byron Bay. Dick’s genius was that he could look at what a TF or a Sam Hawk was doing and subtly integrate that into his own designs. He could pull together influences from a whole range of people in a way that worked. …By the end of 1971, I was in California making a real statement in foam, and I know I couldn’t have done that without the Brewer experience.”
Shortly after returning to his native Australia, Fitzgerald opened up his own shop and began selling his shapes under the Hot Buttered label. Even the name Hot Buttered has its origins in Fitzgerald’s Hawaii experiences: during the winter of 1971, Fitzgerald and Hawaiian surfer Owl Chapman had been listening to Isaac Hayes’ album “Hot Buttered Soul”, and the name stuck.
A few years later, Fitzgerald’s Hawaiian experience would come full circle.
The board pictured above is an incredible piece of surfing history that serves as a document for the cultural exchange between TF and Dick Brewer. It is a Hot Buttered single fin, shaped in either 1975 or 1976, that Terry Fitzgerald made for Dick Brewer. The board belongs to Mark Loh of Beach Beat, who kindly contributed the photos to this post.
The winged pintail setup is a hallmark of Fitzgerald’s designs from the Seventies. The board above measures in at 6’5″, and it is a single fin. According to Loh, the board has had some small repairs, but otherwise completely original. The board is in excellent shape considering its age, not to mention that swallowtails and wings are notoriously prone to damage.
One of the most classic logos in Australian surf history!
TF’s signature indicating the board was a gift for Dick Brewer
You can see Fitzgerald’s signature on the board. It clearly reads “T.F. Hawaii for Dick 6’5”. However, the board’s owner went one step further, and contacted Fitzgerald directly. Fitzgerald was able to issue a certificate of authenticity and provide some more details on the board itself.
Fitzgerald provides great insight on the various elements that went into the board’s design. It’s amazing to hear that despite the time spent together, Fitzgerald had never actually ridden one of Brewer’s boards! Finally, Fitzgerald notes the board was glassed by Jack Reeves and sanded by Tom Hawk (brother of the aforementioned Chris).
This is an amazing board, and Fitzgerald’s certificate is a wonderful source for some first-hand information. Finally, check out the original post featuring the board on Vintage Surfboard Collectors (Facebook). As you can see, I’m not the only person who was stoked about this find!
Thanks to Mark Loh for sharing the pictures and the story.
Luis Real is the owner of North Shore Surf Shop on Oahu. He is also the owner an extensive collection of vintage surfboards that has been known to bring grown men to tears. He posts a lot of incredible stuff on Instagram and on the Vintage Surfboard Collectors group on Facebook. This post above is a rad picture of a rare Dick Brewer logo that features Sam Hawk and Owl Chapman as well. Note that in the top portion of the pic, Sam Hawk is on the left, Owl Chapman is in the middle, and Brewer himself is to the right.
Today’s post features some tasty Bonzer content for all you alternative surf craft fans. Check out this Shane Bonzer shaped by none other than Simon Anderson! This is a cool look at one of Anderson’s earlier experiments with a tri-fun setup before he invented the proper thruster and revolutionized surfboard designs forever. Note that the owner of the account above is none other than Duncan Campbell, brother of Malcolm and one of the co-founders of Campbell Bros.
Your last Bonzer related post of the day comes from none other than Joel Tudor. Check out the comments in the thread where Tudor and Malcolm Campbell are discussing how Joel is going to take that thing down from the rafters and have the outlined copied so he can make a repro. Check out the fin placement on the board on the right — just like the Campbell Bros recommend. Love the little “Bonzer Vehicles” logos you can see next to the side bites, not to mention the funky double concave and the super thinned out tails.
Look at this beautiful example of a Steve Lis fish! And check out those dimensions: at 5’2″ x 20 3/4″ x 2 1/2″ it’s not hard to see the kneeboarding influence. You can barely see a little logo on the bottom of the board towards the top.
Surfboards and Coffee (looks like their website isn’t quite ready for primetime yet) is a group of surfboard collectors in LA that host regular meetups to compare boards and ingest some caffeine. If I lived in that lovely City of Angels I’d like to think I’d be a regular, but alas Shred Sledz HQ isn’t moving from the Bay Area any time soon. Anyway, check them out on Instagram (and how about the spray job on that Stussy!)
Last but not least, Marc Andreini took to Facebook to explain some of the backstory behind his famous Vaquero design. The board on the right is an early predecessor of the Vaquero — then called the “365”, because Andreini and co found they could surf the board nearly every day of the year — from 1974.